Professor Helps Students Navigate Job Market

Lindholdt adjusts curricula to give students an edge as professionals.

November 16, 2023

In the face of competitive job markets in the humanities, small things can make a difference.

Eastern Washington University English professor Paul Lindholdt helps students strengthen their academic résumés by crafting entries for the website Spokane Historical. That web and mobile platform, developed at EWU History Professor Larry Cebula, contains 688 stories about Spokane and Eastern Washington.

The stories are created mostly by EWU students. Each story is accompanied by an illustration and a pin-drop to locate key events on a map.

“Students who write for Spokane Historical set modest goals for themselves before they reach for the stars,” Lindholdt says. “It is an approachable, open-access encyclopedia that publishes and hyperlinks original stories.”

Spokane Mountaineers historic photo

Theo Bell, one of Lindholdt’s students, originated “The Spokane Mountaineers: From Walking to Summitting.” Women librarians founded the Mountaineers in 1915 as a walking group. Coincidentally, Mr. Bell is applying for graduate programs in librarianship.

Another English major, Jordan Ransom, focused her article on the Bowl and Pitcher rock formation on the Spokane River. She traced the Native legends behind the formation in “A Devil, Coyote, Bowl and Pitcher.” Ms. Ransom is earning her Master of Arts in English at EWU.

Bowl and Pitcher along the Spokane River

Mikelle Gaines, embarking on her master’s in teaching at EWU, wrote a story that recounts the unhappy life of “Susan Crump Glover: First Wife of James Nettle Glover.” Husband James divorced her and helped commit her to the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Insane.

Susan Glover

Lindholdt coached Gaines’ story with particular interest. He had previously written a biography on James Glover, the so-called “father of Spokane,” as contributing historian to HistoryLink, which is the free online encyclopedia of Washington State history.

HistoryLink preceded Wikipedia’s open-access model by two years. Many journals and reference works have developed an online presence or migrated entirely online, allowing students to access research materials more easily and to share their work with potential employers.

English major HarleyQuinn Wahl told the story of Fort George Wright Drive and how it came to be renamed “Whistalks Way.” When Yakama leader Qualchan was hanged beside Latah Creek, his wife Whistalks was spared. Ms. Wahl teaches English at Spokane Community College.

For students competing for jobs in the humanities, Spokane Historical helps distinguish them from other applicants, Lindholdt says. The stories they tell are accessible, sharable, and meaningful for readers in a variety of disciplines.